There is a long-held belief that those who are non-believers can’t get into heaven in spite of however many good works they perform on earth. Some accept this logic and others reject it. One person who has spoken on the matter is Pope Francis. Referencing atheists in particular, the pope says that these individuals are also rewarded by God for doing good work for the world.
Speaking on Vatican radio, the Pope dove into the matter head first, dispelling the belief that atheists can’t be redeemed by God:
The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!” he said.
“If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”
What do you think? If someone has not accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, can he get into heaven? Also, what about those who accept Jesus but spend their lives harming others? Should those individuals be put ahead of those who do good for the world? It appears that the pope doesn’t think so.
No matter what you think, we encourage you to do good in the world. God is always pleased when you do.